God of War and the Completion Conundrum

It’s done. It’s over. My time with God of War (2018) is complete…at least for now, as I always say. I left a ton of its world unexplored, but I saw through this first story of Kratos and his son Atreus, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. It was utterly fantastic, and I look forward to its sequel, Ragnarok.  Given were things stood at the end of this game, I can only imagine what lies ahead. But, what of this game? A game that’s already been praised, celebrated, and called the greatest of all time. A game that feels unmatched and nearly perfect. A game with extremely solid gameplay, excellent graphics, and an incredible narrative. A game that seems like a must-play for the PS4/PS5.

Do it! Do it for the BLADES!

In my previous post, I was only about halfway through the game, or so I thought. I’m not sure if the game’s latter half was shorter, or if I had gotten farther along in questing than I thought, but it seemed like the pace quickened as Kratos and Atreus inched closer to their goal of scattering Kratos’s wife’s ashes upon the highest peak in a realm called Jötunheim. It could be that the story was just brimming with so many great beats and reveals that I didn’t notice how quickly I traveled from point to point. Without getting too spoilery – if the game’s in your backlog, I really can’t recommend it enough – after obtaining Kratos’s Blades of Chaos and spending a decent bit of time in the icy realm of Helheim, terrible visions of Kratos’ past are revealed via his body-less companion, Mímir, and Kratos forces himself to tell Atreus of a secret that’s been hiding in plain sight.  Atreus then takes an unusually dark turn that leads to bad times for a couple folks who had been hounding the pair. This results in, among other things, like an unwelcome return to Helheim, the accidental closure of the only known way to Jötunheim.

A game so heavy is not without a few lighthearted moments.

If anything felt like a blur, it was the span of time between the return to Helheim and the end of the game, which was marked by a couple major battles. And I mean, major. Again, I don’t want to head into spoiler territory, but one of the battles took me very much off-guard, as it involved taking down a “enemy” that I didn’t think was an enemy. It actually made me question if I had been paying attention to the game’s story at all! Beyond throwing around Kratos’s axe and blades ad infinitum, that one maybe-missed plot point was quickly forgotten once the game’s ending was in sight. Between the absolutely violent and emotional tryst involving Kratos, an ultra-nemesis, and a friend-turned-foe, and the reveal of Atreus’s true nature, it was all I could to do not keep my jaw from falling to the floor. Some of the information was foreshadowed, sure, but that didn’t take anything away from what I witnessed before the credits rolled.

And in between it all there was lore galore!

In finishing God of War’s main story, I stand with it now as I did back when I (finally) finished Red Dead Redemption 2, with the vast majority of it left unexplored. I have the choice to go back to a previous save point and side quest/explore from there, or I can start a new game+. As of writing, I’ve not made a decision, because my backlog called and Cyberpunk 2077 wanted some attention. (Guess it only makes sense considering that God of War was, itself, in my backlog for a decently long time. ) I do know that I would like to play the game again, whether by starting over or plus-ly or doing side quests, but I don’t know when that time will come.

Brok and Sindri know what’s up. Or, maybe just Brok. Poor Sindri.

If I’ve said it twice, and I have, I’ll say it a third time – God of War (2018) is a magnificent achievement as a game and in gaming. For me, it’s up there with Uncharted 2, in that it’s a game that offers near-perfection at every turn. Its action is intense, its humor is charming, its characters are magnetic, and its story is divine. God of War is not rough, glitchy, or fluffy; every session I had with it was intensely satisfying. Maybe that’s why I can’t quite figure out where to go with the game now that the story is over, because how exactly does one top excellence?

At long last, a job well done.

All images, including lede, were captured by author during PS5 gameplay of God of War (© Santa Monica Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment).

2 Comments Add yours

  1. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    While I called God of War “done,” it’s far from actually d-o-n-e, so what’s a busy gamer to do – pick up all the missed pieces or move on? My musings on this conundrum are in this recent Virtual Bastion post.

    Like

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